HOUSTON -- Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud has cleared concussion protocol and plans to start for the Houston Texans against the Tennessee Titans in Week 17.

It will be Stroud's first start since suffering a concussion in the fourth quarter of Houston's Week 14 loss to the New York Jets. The No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft didn't practice or play for two weeks.

The Texans went 1-1 in Stroud's absence, beating the Titans in Week 15 and losing to the Cleveland Browns last Sunday.

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Case Keenum started in place of Stroud and threw one touchdown with three interceptions. Davis Mills replaced Keenum in the fourth quarter against the Browns and had two touchdown passes.

Stroud practiced Wednesday for the first time since the injury, as he was in phase four of the protocol, according to coach DeMeco Ryans. Stroud ran with the first-team offense and was listed as limited on the injury report. He was a full participant Thursday.

"It was great being back," Stroud said Thursday. "I missed it. This is just kind of something that I guess God wanted me to go through. It was tough. It wasn't easy. But my teammates held it down as best as they could and I appreciate them for that. I'm back and happy to be here."

Before the injury, Stroud was leading the league in passing yards (3,631) and had 20 TD passes to five interceptions. The offense with Stroud ranked 10th in scoring (23.8 points per game) and sixth in yards (373.1). Without him, it averaged 17 points and 295 yards.

Stroud returns at a crucial point in the season for the Texans, who are in a three-way tie at 8-7 with the Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC South. The Texans are also the No. 8 seed in the AFC.

"We got to appreciate the work that we put in, but at the same time, just get one at a time and keep building for hopefully making the playoffs," Stroud said. "That's definitely the goal, and just go from there. We got to start with Tennessee, which is a really hard challenge."